The Justice Department has initiated proceedings to deport a Colorado resident who was an armed Nazi concentration camp guard in France during World War II.
Peter Mueller, 70, a resident of Boulder, Colo., has admitted to having been a member of the Waffen-SS Death’s Head Battalion from March 1943 until at least the summer of 1944. Deportation proceedings against Mueller were opened last week at the Immigration Court in Denver.
The government complaint says Mueller was stationed at the Natzweiler concentration camp, which was located in eastern France, in the eastern province of Alsace, near the German border.
Mueller also served at the Natzweiler subcamp, Schorzingen, located in Wurttemberg, Germany.
Mueller is a German national who never obtained U.S. citizenship. He entered the United States in 1956 on a resident alien visa.
The Justice Department reported that Mueller had admitted to the Office of Special Investigations, the department’s Nazi-hunting unit, that he was an armed guard with the Waffen-SS at the Natzweiler and Schorzingen camps. He also admitted that he guarded slave laborers at the Natzweiler stone quarry and in underground mines at Schorzingen.
The Justice Department reported that during the time that Mueller served at the camp, thousands of Jews, Russians, Poles and Gypsies were subjected to inhumane living conditions, slave labor and murder.
Although Mueller has been charged with being a guard at the camps and lying about his past when entering the United States, the Justice Department has not charged him with any specific criminal acts committed at the camps. But he is charged with persecution, a crime against humanity, according to the post-war judgments at Nuremberg.
Mueller told reporters, “I didn’t do criminal things. I did what a soldier does,” the Denver Post quoted him as saying.
The proceedings against Mueller are the result of OSI’s ongoing investigation of Nazi persecutors illegally living in the United States. To date, 49 former Nazis have lost their U.S. citizenship and 39 persons have been removed from the United States.
Nearly 400 persons remain under investigation by OSI.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.